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Michael’s New Beginning in the Aon Apprenticeship Program

In August 2021, Michael joined the Aon Apprenticeship Program: a two-year paid opportunity working at Aon in business support, data, project management, or information technology while concurrently earning an associate degree from Harold Washington College. For the next two years, we will highlight various aspects of the Aon Apprenticeship Program and follow Michael as he pursues his career and furthers his education.

Tell us a little about yourself.

“I moved to Chicago in March 2021 from California, where I was previously attending University of California Davis. I dropped out after a semester because I couldn’t afford to pay for it anymore. Coming to Chicago was a very spontaneous decision; my aunt came to visit and asked if I wanted to come back with her. I booked a ticket, packed that night, and we left the next day.”

How did you learn about Cara?

“Well, once I got to Chicago, I explored my options and worked a couple weeks in the kitchen for this retirement home. After I left that job, I had a friend who was interning for Cara, and she said it might be a great opportunity for me as well. As soon as I got to Cara, the staff told me about the Aon Apprenticeship Program.”

Why did the Aon Apprenticeship Program interest you?

“When Cara told me about the apprenticeship, I was all smiles: I was literally smiling as they told me the details over the phone. The entire Aon program is an amazing opportunity. I’m going to be an apprentice for two years, go to college, get a degree, and have the opportunity to keep working with Aon afterward. There is no downside to it!”

What was the interview process like?

“I hadn’t done many interviews for jobs before, so Cara helped me prepare and understand what to expect. I felt pretty comfortable going into the three interviews, but the final one was anxiety-inducing because that was the make or break. A couple weeks later, I got the call congratulating me and sharing all of the information about my new position on the project management team. As soon as the call ended, I was jumping for joy.”

What have you learned on the job so far?

“I’m learning to manage multiple assignments and figure out when to do research and onboarding tasks at work along with school assignments. My manager is very understanding and really wants me to focus on the school aspect, emphasizing that’s really the most important part of the apprenticeship.”

How are classes going? Have you gotten to know the other apprentices in them?

“All the classes I’m taking at Harold Washington College are taught by professors teaching a class only to the Aon apprentices. They are good professors and the workload is not bad at all. For my in-person class on Fridays, it’s cool to meet all of the other apprentices in the program and go through this experience together.”

What are some of your goals for the first year in the program?

“I want to build up my resume and make connections with everyone at Aon. Having this opportunity to achieve tangible goals for my future is very inspiring.

Six Months on the Job Update

Learn more about our collaboration with Aon to get a a behind-the-scenes look into the Aon Apprenticeship Program.